An application to rezone an Electronic Avenue property for two four-storey buildings was put on hold until concerns about traffic and zoning could be resolved.
The land use committee recommended council reject the proposal for the 123-unit development, including 25 live-work units, because it would reduce the supply of industrial land, had insufficient parking and required an official community plan amendment.
Staff suggested a plan to work with the developers on design changes, a traffic study and a housing reserve fund contribution.
But Coun. Meghan Lahti had concerns about using Golden Spike Lane, which is sandwiched between the CP Rail tracks and properties that front onto St. Johns Street, as the access point for the development’s parking lot.
Coun. Mike Clay added that using live-work units to satisfy the commercial component of mixed-use designation was unacceptable because, like at Sonrisa, nobody would actually use the units for work. The average unit size is proposed as 760 square feet.
The Evergreen Line will put further development pressure on that stretch of Moody Centre and puts an already shrinking industrial land base in further jeopardy, Clay said.
Council members agreed to the proposal by staff with the added caveat that site access be resolved.
Budget cuts that slashed Port Moody’s tax rate increase have also changed the way some city departments will be operating, but it’s unclear who will handle several responsibilities that used to fall under Tourism and Economic Development (ETAD).
The Culture and Communications Department was eliminated under the cuts and incorporated into what was the Corporate Relations Department to form the new Strategic Planning and Culture role under director Colleen Rohde. Economic development will now be handled by the mayor’s office.
In a report presented Tuesday, Rohde itemized some 30 ETAD functions that need to be discontinued, shifted to another department or incorporated into her department with appropriate funding. Some of those functions include various tourism office memberships, Holiday Train co-ordination and advertising, Polish the Gem, annual Spike Awards for business recognition and the Moody Centre traffic and parking study.
“They need to be assigned somewhere, whether it’s to me or elsewhere, and funding provided back to those items,” Rohde said.
Coun. Diana Dilworth said several of the functions are still necessary and that perhaps a “wholesale chop” was too hasty.
The report was sent back to the mayor’s office for further review.
A cultural strategic plan update is calling for several new initiatives intended to make arts and culture more prominent in Port Moody.
Work on the updated plan — the current one is now seven years old — started almost two years ago with research on the state of the arts community and reviews of the existing plan and the 2003 public art master plan. Results indicate that continued city funding for the arts is essential, and that more cultural facilities are needed.
Some of the key recommendations approved by council Tuesday include continuation of the City of the Arts branding tools, review of the public art implementation schedule and the development of a three-year Inlet Theatre plan that includes consideration of an online box office.
The Port Moody Station Museum will be engaged in discussions about the Murray-Clarke Connector, and arts groups and the public will be involved in developing plans for a cultural precinct at Kyle Street.